Embassy (cigarette)

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Product type Cigarette
Produced by Imperial Tobacco
Introduced 1914; 101 years ago (1914)

Embassy is a brand of cigarettes from Imperial Tobacco. First sold in 1914 and relaunched as a coupon brand in 1962, in 1976 they were invited to sponsor the World Snooker Championships, which they did from then until 2005 at which time they had to pull out due to the UK government's ban on tobacco sponsorship.[1][2][3]

When the Embassy brand was launched, more effort was put into developing and launching it than any other previous cigarette brand.[4]

Embassy Filter was introduced in 1962 and, by the late 1960s, was the most popular brand of cigarette in the UK, taking 24% of the market in 1968.[5]

In 2001, Embassy No. 1 had a 3.1% share of the UK licit cigarette market, and an estimated 4.8% share of the illicit market (based on seizures).[6] In 2004, Embassy accounted for 24% of the premium segment of the UK market.[7]

Former snooker world champion, the late Alex Higgins sued the makers of Embassy in 1999, claiming that the encouragement from the sponsors to smoke Embassy cigarettes, and the free cigarettes given to players had contributed to him contracting throat cancer.[8]

Embassy is currently one of the most expensive cigarette brands in the UK with prices ranging from £8.40–£9.00 per pack of 20, it also has a sister brand, named Embassy Regal.

Current UK Brands[edit]

  • Embassy Mild/Blue
  • Embassy Filter
  • Embassy Number 1

Discontinued UK Brands[edit]

  • Belair Menthol
  • Embassy Envoy
  • Embassy Gold
  • Embassy Number 3
  • Embassy Number 5
  • Embassy Number 3 Extra Mild
  • Embassy Number 5 Extra Mild
  • Embassy Extra Mild
  • Embassy Number 1 Extra Mild
  • Embassy Premier with NSM (New Smoking Mixture)


  1. ^ "History", Imperial Tobacco
  2. ^ "Snooker hunts replacement for Embassy", Marketing Week, 14 April 2005
  3. ^ Harrison, Shirley (2000) Public Relations: An Introduction, 2nd edition, Cengage Learning EMEA, ISBN 978-1-86152-547-5, p.152
  4. ^ B. W. E. Alford (2006) WD & HO Wills and the Development of the UK Tobacco Industry, 1786-1965, Taylor & Francis, ISBN 978-0-415-37799-7
  5. ^ "Smoking and the 70s", RetroWow
  6. ^ "Select Committee on Public Accounts Minutes of Evidence: APPENDIX 3 - Supplementary memorandum submitted by HM Customs and Excise", House of Commons - Public Accounts - Minutes of Evidence
  7. ^ Emily Paersch "Finding the right balance, Tobacco Journal
  8. ^ Gentleman, Amelia (1999) "Snooker star sues tobacco firms", The Guardian, 27 July 1999

External links[edit]